When wounds do not respond to general wound care treatments alone, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) may be the key to complete healing. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) - the use of 100% oxygen under pressure to promote tissue repair - works because it quickly delivers high concentrations of oxygen to the bloodstream. It is a supplemental therapy used along with current medical and surgical therapy.
HBOT accelerates healing by:
- Stimulating small blood vessel growth
- Promoting new skin growth
- Helping fight infection
Hyperbaric medicine is provided at Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. Our two hyperbaric units are large, clear acrylic chambers with their own TV, so patients may watch movies or listen to music during treatment. The completely transparent chambers allow patients to see and be seen at all times.
For Wound Care Patients
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is indicated for about 20 percent of wound care patients. Your treating physician will determine whether or not it is appropriate in your case. The average course of treatment lasts four to six weeks (excluding weekends). HBOT is painless and does not require pain medication.
For Physicians, Podiatrists and Wound Care Centers
Patients who are already receiving wound care with you can continue that treatment while HBOT supplements your plan of care.
There are many diagnoses for which HBOT is indicated in a wound care center setting:
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning complicated by cyanide poisoning
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome and other acute traumatic ischemias
- Decompression sickness
- Arterial insufficiencies:
- Central retinal artery occlusion
- Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
- Severe anemia
- Intracranial abscess
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Comprimised grafts and flaps
- Acute thermal burn injury
- Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Hyperbaric Treatment Guidelines
What Should I Wear?
We put safety first. We will provide you with clothing to wear during your treatment. Please do not wear any of the following items when you come to the center for HBO therapy:
- Wigs or hair pieces
- Nail polish that has been on less than 24 hours. You can paint your nails at least 24 hours before an HBO treatment.
- Loose fitting dentures
- Contact lenses
- Skin lotions
- Perfume cologne or aftershave
- Jewelry, including watches and earrings
- Hair spray or oils
- You cannot have anything in your mouth such as: gum, loose dentures, or candy during treatment.
Let the staff know if you feel ill. Let the staff know if you are congested.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Treatment is different for each patient. It depends on the patient's condition and response to therapy. Most patients receive between 30 and 40 treatments.
How Long Does a Treatment Last?
Treatment will last about 2 hours. You will receive one treatment a day, Monday through Friday. Your doctor will tell you if you need more than one treatment a day.
What Should I Expect Before Treatment?
The HBO technician will take your vital signs and listen to your lungs. The inside of your ears will be examined. You will be asked about your pain. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar will be checked. Safety checks will be done before each treatment.
Is HBOT Painful?
HBOT is not painful. At the beginning of your treatment you may feel pressure in your ears. Like when you fly in a plane or drive up into the mountains. You may have to clear your ears. The HBOT staff will instruct you on methods for clearing your ears:
- Open and close your mouth
What Should I Tell My Doctor Before I Begin HBOT?
Tell your doctor if you have:
- An internal battery operated medical device such as a pacemaker or pain pump. The staff will make sure your device can be used in the chamber.
- If you have an external battery operated medical device, it cannot go into the chamber. Your HBOT physician will contact your doctor for instructions on how to deal with this device.
- Inform your HBOT doctor if you have EVER had chemotherapy.
What if I have diabetes?
Your doctor will discuss blood sugar control with you. The HBOT technician will check your blood sugar before and after treatment. Take your medicine as prescribed. Eat before HBOT.
What if you feel claustrophobic?
When you are in the chamber you can see out in all directions. If you are anxious, the doctor can prescribe medicine to help you relax.
Is HBOT therapy covered by my insurance?
Medicare has approved coverage for HBO therapy for many types of chronic non-healing wounds. Most private insurance companies follow medicare rules. We will review your insurance plan with you before your therapy starts to make sure you know what your costs will be.
LOCATION and CONTACT INFORMATION
|Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine
Fern Hill Medical Campus
Bldg B, Suite 103
915 Old Fern Hill Road
West Chester, PA 19380
Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 4:30 pm (by appointment only)
Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm (by appointment only)